Vocational knowledge development during teacher-student interactions: exploring vocational conversations

Harmen Schaap*, Anne Khaled, Marije Faber, Nienke Bijlsma, E. de Bruijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Vocational education aims to enhancestudents’ vocational knowledge development.However, which pedagogies enhance suchdevelopment is not self-evident. This article thereforeexplores vocational knowledge development duringvocational conversations between teachers andstudents. Vocational knowledge development isviewed here from a cultural-historical stance,referring to its situated and social nature. Thestudy is conducted in senior secondary vocationaleducation in the Netherlands, in the domain of SportInstruction. Four types of vocational conversationswere identified, namely: performance-orientedconversations, concept-informed conversations,problem-based conversations and professionalidentity conversations. The conversations differ intheir meaning, nature and context. Meaning refers tothe vocational content of the conversations, natureto the way the conversations are regulated andcontext to characteristics of the learning environmentand practical circumstances. Performance-orientedconversations and problem-based conversationswere most frequently observed. Implications of theseresults are discussed from the perspective of teachersin their role as significant other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-66
Number of pages32
JournalPedagogische Studiën
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2023


  • senior secondary vocational education
  • student activities
  • teaching activities
  • vocational conversations
  • vocational knowledge development


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